Collaborating to eliminate hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is curable. Many people in Louisiana weren’t aware they had the disease, therefore they weren’t diagnosed or seeking treatment. Once they’re diagnosed with hepatitis C, they often face multiple barriers to accessing treatment. The most vulnerable populations face challenges that aren’t solved by one-size-fits-all technology solutions and require scalable solutions as nuanced and diverse as the people who seek them.

Through the collaboration and co-creation between the State of Louisiana Department of Health and IBM, the outlook for a hepatitis C cure is much brighter. With affordable medicine, a community-based approach and IBM’s expertise in cloud technologies and data integration, a “hep C-free Louisiana” is closer to becoming a reality.

Into a hepatitis C-free future

Meta Smith Davis is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. An outspoken advocate and public speaker on issues of social justice and community health, Davis works as a program manager for Open Health Care Clinics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“If we want people to be healthy, we have to offer them every opportunity to do so,” Davis said from her Louisiana office. Davis was diagnosed with hepatitis C, caused by a virus that attacks the liver, in the 2000s.

Most patients have no symptoms. That means the disease can be challenging to diagnose and treat. But treatment, through antiviral medications, does work in 98 percent of patients.